Pulled pork sandwiches, anyone? Truth be told, you can do so much with pulled pork like make tacos, enchiladas, nachos, or flatbreads. I love making this tasty classic pulled pork recipe. While it does take some advance prep, it’s a super-simple and super-wholesome way to get lots of meals out of one thing!
Best Pulled Pork Recipe
Why go to a restaurant and spend a fortune feeding the family? Or worse, buying those pre-made pulled pork kits in the supermarket! Those are loaded with artificial ingredients and preservatives. Truth is, pulled pork is a simple dish that tastes best when you make it yourself.
Ingredients in Pulled Pork
- Pork shoulder roast – this tough cut of meat becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender through slow cooking.
- Barbecue sauce – BBQ sauce is what makes it pulled pork taste so amazing, after all!
- Onions – adds flavor and aroma while aerating the pork.
- Seasonings – with a mixture of chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt and pepper, this pulled pork is going to be amazing!
- Brown sugar – gives it that caramelized flavor.
Easy Pulled Pork Recipe
This easy pulled pork recipe only needs 20 minutes of your active time. The rest of it is letting it infuse with the flavors in your fridge and then letting your slow cooker or instant pot do all the heavy lifting.
Put some pork on your fork.
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Pulled Pork Every Time
- Use the right meat – Pork shoulder often is labeled “pork butt.” You’ll easily find it at the supermarket though you can always ask the butcher.
- Be patient! – Don’t be tempted to set your slow cooker on high for this one. The waiting is indeed the hardest part of this recipe.
- Put the onions down first – These create space between the pork and the bottom of your slow cooker, allowing the air to circulate and letting you get the most tender results.
How to Cook Pulled Pork
Pulled pork requires a little patience and timing since you will need to prep it and let it sit in the fridge overnight. After that though, you simply add it to your slow cooker and busy yourself while your home fills with delightful aromas!
Which cut of meat to use for pulled pork?
Choose pork shoulder or pork butt as it’s sometimes found. It has the best fat content so the meat becomes wonderfully tender and divine in this slow cooking method.
Can you use pork loin for pulled pork?
Yes, though it’s much leaner so it won’t have quite the same rich flavor using pork shoulder brings to the dish.
How many pounds of pork will I need for pulled pork?
That all depends on how many people you’re serving. If it’s just your little family of 4, you won’t need a giant pork shoulder. But if you’re throwing a party, you’ll want something bigger. Generally, you should plan on one-half a pound of meat per person, keeping in mind that bone-in pork shoulder will net you about 60% in meat by weight.
What liquid do you use for pulled pork?
This recipe uses barbecue sauce. As the pork cooks slowly, the fat renders off, creating a juicy experience.
How Long to Cook Pulled Pork
Pulled pork will take about 7 hours in your slow cooker. Don’t rush a good thing. With the slow cooker, at least you can do plenty of other stuff while your pulled pork cooks up.
How do you keep pulled pork moist?
The slow cooker is all you need to keep pulled pork moist. With those onions at the bottom, the barbecue sauce, and its own rendered fat, it will be plenty moist when it’s done!
Best Ways to Use Pulled Pork Besides Sandwiches?
I mentioned a few things at the top but you can certainly turned pulled pork into your favorite Mexican meals like tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and nachos. Add it to fried rice, soups, stews, gyros, shepherd’s pie, and pizza.
What to Serve with Pulled Pork (Side Dishes)
When I serve pulled pork sandwiches, I usually add coleslaw, baked beans, potato salad with a dash of cayenne pepper, baked potatoes with a tablespoon of fresh whipped butter, jalapeno cornbread, mac n’ cheese, and a chilled cucumber salad with a teaspoon of dressing. These are all great picnic foods that work beautifully with it and fill up a plate with balance.
How to Store Pulled Pork
Even with a big family, it can be hard to polish off all the pulled pork in a few days. Even when you use it different ways, everyone wants something else. After 4 days in the fridge, it needs to be frozen.
Can You Freeze Pulled Pork?
Absolutely go ahead and freeze that pulled pork. I like to separate it into servings so I’m not stuck with one giant bag of pulled pork. Once in a freezer bag or wrapped properly, it can last for 3 to 6 months.
How to Reheat Frozen Pulled Pork
After letting it thaw in the fridge, your frozen pulled pork can be heated in the oven at 350F for about 10 to 20 minutes. Add a little water if there’s no sauce and cover it to keep it from drying out. Smaller portions can also be heated on the stovetop.
Perfect Pulled Pork Recipe
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 pork shoulder roast
- 4 onions
- 1 bottle barbecue sauce
- 8 hamburger buns
- Start by mixing together the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Once the dry ingredients are well combined, rub the mixture all over the shoulder to evenly coat it, wrap the pork shoulder in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator over night.
- The next day, chop the onions in quarters and place in the bottom of the crock pot. Then place the pork shoulder in the crock pot on top of the onions, cover and cook for about 8 hours or until the pork is soft, tender and falling apart. Carefully the pork and onions from the crock pot and place them on a baking sheet. Slice the onions and using two forks shred the pork by pulling it apart in opposite directions.
- Pour the barbecue sauce bottle into the crock pot, then place the shredded pork and onions back in the crock pot and stir to evenly coat in the barbecue sauce and juices. Serve on toasted hamburger buns or Hawaiian sweet rolls and enjoy!
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